Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released its final update for the 2018 season Thursday.

The MNRF says it was one of the busiest Ontario forest fire seasons in recent years with a total of 549 fires in July alone. The official fire season is April 1st to October 31st.

Provincially, 1,325 fires burned 276,356 hectares, up from 2017 where a total of 776 fires burned 111,955 hectares, which is closer to the 10-year average. The numbers do not include prescribed burns or fires occurring outside of the fire region.

The northeast had 486 fires, which burned 62,661 hectares.

71% of the fires were found to be caused by lightning, while the cause has yet to be determined in 12 fires and the remaining were caused by human activity.

Notable fire statistics:

Parry Sound 33

  • 11,362.5 hectares
  • Began July 18, declared ‘being held’ August 9, ‘under control’ August 23, officially extinguished October 31.

North Bay 72

  • 27,285.7 hectares
  • Began July 8, declared ‘being held’ August 7, ‘under control’ August 15, and declared out October 29.

Ontario received 799 forest firefighters and 128 support staff and/or equipment from Saskatchewan, Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, British Columbia, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Parks Canada and New Brunswick during the 2018 fire season.

For the 2018 fire season, Ontario provided 101 support staff and 407 FireRangers to help with fire situations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

The MNRF will provide a more detailed overview of the 2018 fire season next week.